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Gamewell-FCI: Mass Notification, the Gamewell Masterbox, and NetSOLO Broadband

gamewell_logoGamewell-FCI offers complete fire systems solutions to meet the fire protection needs for business, schools, medical facilities, and government—from small installations to multifaceted high-rise complexes.

  • Mass Notification – Today we think of firefighters less in terms of putting out flames and more as “first responders” to emergencies. We think of fire safety systems in an entirely new light, and the broader term “emergency notification” has become a greater priority in evacuation. Mere fire alarms are no longer enough. Gamewell_FCI_Mass_NotificationThe federal government has attempted to rapidly address these clearly warranted fears. The National Strategy of Homeland Security outlined a vision for future security which described a need for “communication and delivery systems indispensable to our national effort to detect, prevent, and, if need be, respond to terrorist attacks.” That same year, the Department of Defense (DOD) developed Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) in its Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings. Central to UFC was the need for mass notification – systems that would “provide a timely means to notify (building) occupants of threats and instruct them what to do in response to those threats.” It is possible for fire alarm systems to be perfectly in sync with the new code. Some existing multi-channel fire alarm systems have such robust distributed messaging capabilities that they allow users to create customized messages for practically any type of scenario. Ideally, the system can be programmed to put out messages that can automatically change as the situation changes.


  • Gamewell_MasterboxThe Gamewell Masterbox – Across America and around the world, the Gamewell Masterbox remains on guard…protecting lives and property. For more than 150 years, municipalities and private enterprises have relied upon the Gamewell Masterbox for continuous and positive fire alarm reporting. Recognized as an American icon with its familiar red, cottage shell, the Gamewell Masterbox is universally understood and immediately identifies the specific location of a reported fire alarm. Gamewell-FCI is the only manufacturer that supplies new Masterboxes. These units are the only Masterboxes that are UL Listed. Rebuilt boxes from non-approved sources will void the UL Listing. Gamewell products cannot be altered in the field by non-Gamewell-FCI authorized manufacturers. UL will only authorize an alternate, approved source at Gamewell-FCI’s request. In its 150+ year history, Gamewell-FCI has never authorized or recognized any third party re-builder. Therefore rebuilt boxes are not endorsed or certified by Gamewell, and are not recognized under Gamewell’s UL Listing. Products that are UL Listed carry with them the confidence and assurance of meeting, or exceeding, the latest requirements and standards of safety for fire alarm systems.


  • NetSOLO Broadband -Many fire safety products are touted by their manufacturers to be “innovative” or “unique” or “breakthrough.” But the truth of the matter is, the arrival of a real one-of-a-kind breakthrough product is a rare occurrence, an event duly heralded by awards and often followed by immediate sales. The arrival of NetSOLO® Broadband from Gamewell-FCI was such an event. Gamewell-FCI, part of Honeywell’s (NYSE: HON) Fire Systems Group, is a performance and technology leader in the life safety systems industry for commercial, industrial and educational applications worldwide. Never before has a single pair of wires delivered so much. In fact, NetSOLO Broadband is the first product to deliver on a single pair of wires—full network control and communications, digital messaging, live voice instructions, and fire fighter telephone communications, all through a distributed network fire alarm system. It’s no wonder that the technology behind this system was awarded the highly-coveted Honeywell “Automation and Control Solutions Technical Achievement Award” for product development involving voice-over LAN. This technology is not only award-worthy; it’s way ahead of the curve and has helped set Gamewell-FCI apart as an industry leader. According to the system developer and Gamewell-FCI’s vice-president of engineering, Mario Casamassima, “With previous technologies, one was required to use multiple pairs of wires from building to building, which made installation more difficult and the whole system more cumbersome and expensive. NetSOLO Broadband requires only one pair of wires for all functions, simplifying building to building communication within a setting of multiple, large buildings.” Prior technologies have required the use of up to five pairs of wires, as well as a much bigger control box and an array of expensive supplies. The main NetSOLO system consists of only three small footprint panels – the INI-7100, INCC and INX – which are in turn comprised of just nine system boards. Also, older technologies featured a centralized command –- one focal point of intelligence. Meaning, if the main control panel was shut down communications to the main control panel were lost for any reason, a potentially dangerous communication breakdown would result.


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